INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
Barclay Powers is an author and futurist filmmaker. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies from Columbia University and has an extensive background as an independent scholar. He has studied Chinese, Tibetan and Indian meditation, yoga and martial arts traditions for more than 30 years. Powers is currently releasing multiple media projects worldwide in film and print, related to the evolution of consciousness based on his studies with numerous masters of ancient wisdom traditions. His most recent film, The Lost Secret of Immortality, based on his book, won best spiritual/religious/Christian film at the Great Lakes International Film Festival, 2012, the Silver Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival, 2012 and best spiritual documentary at the New York International Film Festival, 2011. See his website at www.lostsecretofimmortality.com for information on the book, graphic novel and film.
Model Dependent Realism, Vitalism and Pineal Gland Activation
Essentially, there are multiple levels of given assumptions in both science, and Integral Theory that so shape the narrative that its validity must be questioned.
There are a number of scientists that are not satisfied with conventional Western descriptions of human consciousness the world and the universe as the product of the brain, which is described as a machine. As many have pointed out, there is essentially a vague promissory materialism that is based on the premise that all ancient civilizations were characterized by extreme religious delusion. The idea that a non-repeatable experiential state of enlightened consciousness that cannot be measured is inherently valueless is rampant in skeptical establishment worldviews, which reject any and all data that does not conform to the Western reductionist paradigm.
Since Asian models of enlightenment are based on vitalist theories of consciousness evolution, the neuroscientific framework is not capable of acknowledging the connection between chi/prana activation and genuine spiritual awakening. The promise of open science, which is uncompromised by Western bias, and acknowledges the validity of Asian inner science, has simply not emerged. From the most idealistic perspective, the goal of science is greater truth. An explanatory model of spiritual enlightenment has not emerged in consciousness studies because researchers cannot understand inner illumination from a physiological perspective based on vitalism, which can simply not be acknowledged as a viable position. Habitual patterns of racist viewpoints often continue in a new disguised version, while claiming non-colonial occupation perspectives. This is apparent in Integral Theory's understanding of shamanism and its complete exclusion of inner alchemy.
Since Chinese theories of enlightenment have always combined shamanism, yoga and meditation, and inner alchemy, this Integral bias is problematic. The white man's burden to disprove non-western inner sciences that are believed to result in a permanent state of super consciousness continues in the 21st century, although there is supposed to be a convergence of neuroscience and Buddhism in progress. The materialist skeptic simply expects everyone who is rational to believe that nothing the shaman, the yogi, or the alchemist experienced was ever true, because the religion of science has magically proven them all wrong. It is considered heresy in establishment scientific circles to question this wildly racist and absurd conclusion in any way. What if the reverse was actually true? Could these archetypal characters, Buddhas, prophets, and sages, be describing something more real and valuable than just the human body and brain, which they had experienced first hand? What if this knowledge, when correctly translated and understood by science, totally changed the Darwinian definition of what it means to be human? What if the completion stage of meditation, the union of the three bodies, physical, subtle, and super subtle, when explained by science, revealed a totally unprecedented hypothesis regarding the enlightened origin of consciousness? Using Zen terminology, does a scientist that sees his Original Face, the embryo of enlightenment, in meditation still accept neuroscientific Darwinian dogma? If there is a dormant Buddha inside the reproductive system of the primate, waiting to activate the pineal and pituitary glands, at the time of enlightenment, how did it get there? Why has Integral Theory ignored and distorted the classical theory of nontheistic enlightenment, the Trikaya, without anybody noticing?
There is supposed to be a convergence of neuroscience and Buddhism in process. Meditation is believed to be equivalent to a telescope or a microscope, as an instrument to reveal deeper levels of consciousness experimentally. Some researchers disagree with this assumption because they believe that every meditator will see something different, so there can be no collective confirmation in terms of collective repeatable observation. Although it is admirable, that neuroscience finds Asian inner science is worth studying; there are a number of serious problems with the research based on initial, flawed premises. The goal of meditation is to see the Original Face, a dormant subtle body within the reproductive system of the meditator, which opens the third eye permanently after the complete enlightenment experience.
Neuroscience doesn't believe that subtle bodies exist, and assumes that a state of consciousness without a subject/object reference point is the goal of meditation. From a post-enlightenment perspective, this assumption is totally false. Actually, the three most powerful meditation methods in Tibet, tummo heat yoga, the dark retreat (sensory deprivation), and sexual yoga are too controversial and secretive even to be considered. The Six Yogas of Naropa, and Buddhist and Taoist qi gong theory should be studied because when understood in their complete form the Western neuroscientific model of consciousness will theoretically have to change completely.
Unfortunately, the Western watered down version of meditation without subtle body activation and union, known as mindfulness, is currently being researched while the Original Face/Dharmakaya, the real mechanism of enlightenment, the dormant super subtle body, has not been considered or understood. Since the convergence of science and Buddhism has chosen to ignore the classical definition of enlightenment, the Trikaya, as the union of physical, subtle and super subtle bodies, the research does not appear to be promising. Additionally, genuine spiritual enlightenment is based on activating the pineal and pituitary glands, and this aspect of permanently opening the third eye is omitted from theories of meditation, which do not include chi/prana activation. The Tathagatagharba/homunculus, the dormant embryo of enlightenment, which appears as the Original Face/Dharmakaya, and dissolves into nothingness when the completion stage of meditation is achieved, has not even been taken into consideration. A flawed initial premise generally results in a failed conclusion historically, and the necessary vitalist premise cannot be considered because of the materialist neuroscientific worldview. Enlightenment is not in the brain until it is activated by the Dharmakaya/Spiritual Embryo, which is dormant in the lower torso of every human being. Both Integral Theory and Western Buddhism have completely misunderstood enlightenment, and these errors must be corrected for a true neuroscientific explanation of Nirvana to emerge successfully in the 21st century.
The Tantric model of enlightenment, also explains the Hermetic Androgyne or Philosopher's Stone, which means that science will have to eventually acknowledge that its mythic, magical point of origin is actually fact. The inability of Integral Theory to explain and predict this paradigm shift is a clear demonstration of an incomplete meditation model of enlightenment. The emphasis on evolution makes this problem even worse because complete spiritual awakening is based on the union of enlightened pre-birth consciousness with post-birth consciousness from an East Asian perspective. The Integral model of meditation has not understood that the most ancient/primitive structure of the human body is the actual mechanism of enlightenment, which is achieved by reversal or energetic regression. This is not a psychological higher self, or unique self, or true self; this is the Original Mind of archaic primordial pre-birth consciousness or chi.
From a post-enlightenment viewpoint the development of the human embryo must be based on a dormant genetic blueprint, which is created shortly after conception. There are some theories that this occurs on the 49th day of embryonic development when the pineal gland emerges and the fetus becomes sexually differentiated. Ancient religions called this illuminated point of origin the Divine Spark. Buddha was an individual who had succeeded in fully activating this genetic blueprint or embryo of enlightenment, which was known as the homunculus before alchemy became chemistry in the West. China, India and Tibet are all civilizations, which developed meditation sciences based on revealing this genetic blueprint, which activates the pineal and pituitary glands and opens the third eye, and literally returns consciousness to its enlightened point of origin. Even more astonishing, both the pineal gland, and the embryo of enlightenment are dormant, ancestral reptilian relics like the reptile brain. The actual mechanism of enlightenment within the human body, from the perspective of a complete kundalini (serpent power) activation, is the union of dormant reptilian subtle and physiological structures from the beginning of time, which may also be the beginning of human consciousness and possibly language from a highly speculative perspective.
The end result of the completion stage of meditation, subtle body union that activates the third eye, is permanent super consciousness, which many ancient civilizations described as deification. The fall of man appears to refer to the loss of this knowledge, which results in inner illumination created by pineal and pituitary gland activation. This enlightened state of consciousness was achieved by meditation, sexual yoga, entheogenic plant use, or probably combinations thereof. The Six Yogas of Naropa are a good example of a variety of methods that were used to achieve enlightened super consciousness based on shamanism, yoga, and inner alchemy, the three branches of core spirituality underlying many ancient religions throughout the world.
The historical Buddha attacked the religious establishment of his time by explaining his experience of the dissolution of the Original Face, as awakening, non-self and emptiness. Chinese civilization revolves around the individuals who succeeded in activating the genetic blueprint/homunculus, which is called the spiritual embryo or Dharmakaya by meditation adepts. Originally, Zen revolved around this concept of embryonic enlightenment, which is the basis of Chinese medical science and inner alchemy, but has largely lost the understanding of the Original Face as the dormant pre-birth super subtle body in modern times. This suggests that Western science may be evolving back to its own point of origin, like a serpent swallowing its tail, in the beginning of the 21st century.
The Integral model of spiritual awakening is incomplete, and so confused and distorted, that it actually prevents the spiritual evolution of its followers. An accurate model of chi/prana activation is necessary to open the energy meridians of the body fully, which results in genuine inner illumination, the goal of meditation. The Integral Theory of higher consciousness is much like the Jungian model of alchemy. A psychological interpretation is applied to a physiological process, and an artificial Western understanding emerges, which leaves out the real mechanism of enlightenment, the super subtle body/Dharmakaya. Because of the Integral emphasis and focus on evolutionary progression, the concept of cyclical time, and a return to an enlightened state of origin, the real model of complete spiritual awakening, cannot even be considered.
Model Dependent Realism
The concept of model dependent realism as the basis of physics is the core conclusion of Stephen Hawking's 2010 book, The Grand Design. However, instead of demonstrating that philosophy is dead and science is the future of human understanding as alleged, the book actually demonstrates that science, like Integral Theory, is totally restricted and blinded by lock-in. Lock-in describes the fundamental problem of deciding on a paradigm or picture of reality, that once decided upon controls the narrative, and prevents the worldview from evolving as new facts are understood. From a psychological perspective this means that the establishment view must reject competing theories to maintain temporary dominance, while claiming to search for greater truth. The history of scientific racism is a good example, which also characterizes the Integral hierarchical model of evolutionary stage development. Model dependent realism means that the map actually creates the territory that it seeks to describe. Integral Theory takes this problem of psychological dishonesty, which emerges from the basic human fallacy of I know I am right, to a whole new level of self deception by intentionally changing the territory to fit the map. Essentially, there are multiple levels of given assumptions in both science, and Integral Theory that so shape the narrative that its validity must be questioned. The real goal, a scientific explanation of the Original Face and enlightenment, cannot emerge without changing the Integral definition of evolutionary enlightenment to consciousness fully regressing to its own point of origin the actual completion stage of meditation. Theoretically, the future of both science and Integral Theory is back to the homunculus, the rediscovery of the Philosopher's Stone.
(Note 'spiritual embryo' in lower abdomen.)
The Grand Design goes so far as to claim that what makes one model better than another is merely its degree of usefulness. I don't think that Hawking can think outside of mathematical models, either ten dimensional string theory or eleven dimensional M Theory. There doesn't appear to be any recognition or awareness on his part, that model dependent realism conceptually invalidates the scientific search for greater truth that is independent of the observer. It not only suggests that the observer changes the probable realities that are observed, by the act of observation, but claims that the language that is used to describe the observation actually creates the structure that is being observed. This means that the map is actually creating the territory, just like Integral Theory. Instead of destroying philosophy as the book claims, science is now proclaiming postmodern philosophical worldviews are accurate descriptions of ever-relative realities. When you get to the point where you are saying that the description of the facts changes the facts, this means the facts have become mental fiction. Mental fiction is a good working hypothesis for the Guru and the Pandit's understanding of God, enlightenment and evolution.
From the perspective of real Zen awakening, the true Original Face, equating enlightenment and meditation with God is a delusional complete misrepresentation of Buddhahood. Authentic awakening is not based on an evolutionary, psychological, theistic model of mysticism. As disturbing as it may be to acknowledge, real enlightenment, the union of the three bodies, material, subtle, and super subtle, is 100% based on vitalism, which science claims to have proven doesn't exist. The Original Face/Dharmakaya, the completion stage of Zen meditation, is actually virtually identical to the homunculus theory of early alchemical science. If Buddhahood is acknowledged as fact by science in the 21st century, we can expect the current understanding of consciousness and the brain to change completely.
A real Eastern/Western integrated model of Nirvana will require a neuroscientific return to vitalism to be accurate. Most importantly, a genuine transcendental absolute, the Buddha nature, the embryo of enlightenment, will theoretically redefine biology and embryology in the human species. The Integral model of human developmental stages of consciousness suffers from the myth of the given that dominates the three Abrahamic traditions. A Darwinian conception of theistic mysticism is used to confirm the idea that meditation results in the direct experience of God, which means that your own spiritual progression helps God evolve. The problem here is that Buddhahood, the final meditation experience, has nothing to do with theistic, atheist, or agnostic descriptions of the existence or non-existence of the transcendental absolute. The Original Face, which appears at the completion stage of Zen meditation, the real version in which the true self, the embryo of enlightenment is returned to void, does not confirm Integral Theory, evolution or theistic nonduality. It does confirm that emptiness is form and form is emptiness. It also confirms neither form, nor emptiness, nor both, nor neither the complete refutation of all conceptual frameworks.
The three strands of knowledge validation injunction, apprehension, and confirmation, are often cited by Integral Theory as proof of the compatibility of science and meditation methodologies. The problem here is that Integral Theory has actually created a spiritual distortion that destroys the validity of the theory, practice and result of the original, nontheistic, nondual contemplative traditions. Elias Capriles, a Dzogchen teacher with over 20 years of experience, has pointed out the complete incompatibility of Integral Theory and evolution, with the Ati yoga base, path and fruit, the highest level of the Tantric science of enlightenment from a Tibetan perspective. As he says, there is an intentional distortion of the higher Buddhist systems, which betrays the basic fact of enlightened origin as the base, which results in the fruit of enlightenment, that Dzogchen masters have experienced on the last 3,000 years of the path. Capriles describes the fruit accurately absolute sanity. Nor is the Integral distortion based on unknowing incompetence as Capriles points out. The territory has been literally and intentionally changed to fit the map, like a pharmaceutical company creating a disease to sell a drug. From a Dzogchen perspective, when the Guru and the Pandit discuss God and enlightenment they appear to be completely delusional, which the layperson is unable to perceive.
(Note 'third eye' between eyebrows.)
The end result is deception for profit that prevents the spiritual evolution of the practitioner, destroys the possibility of achieving genuine enlightenment, and prevents the integration of meditation and spiritual evolution with science. As Capriles points out, if Buddha had wanted to teach from the perspective of the Vedic texts he would have. Buddha intentionally did not correlate the Atman with the Tathagatagharba. When Wilber chose to correlate the causal body with the Dharmakaya, or the goal of meditation with God for that matter, he betrayed and destroyed every Buddhist tradition he claimed to have practiced and understood. As Capriles points out, Shankara created Advaita Vedanta to handle the ability of Nargarjuna's followers to deconstruct or negate all conceptual frameworks in philosophical debate in the 7th century.
Shankara's theistic nonduality is very much like Integral spirituality, an artificial hybrid system, that doesn't work because of an incomplete understanding of enlightenment, emptiness and the energy system of the human body. The end result is that the Guru and the Pandit have prevented their followers from tasting the fruit of the path, which is founded on an actual enlightened origin or base, which is not theoretical. The fruit of meditation, Nirvana, refutes Integral Theory, evolution and God as emptiness, as well as theistic nonduality. This refutation is obvious when the injunction, apprehension, and confirmation of the base, path, and fruit, are successfully integrated. As Capriles notes in his articles on Integralworld.net and in other papers on his web site, the Western white male bias of cultural superiority, based on the assumption of scientific progress, has prevented the Dzogchen view of degenerative evolution, and primordial enlightenment from being understood. The theory is that enlightenment is the true nature of the individual, the illuminated origin of consciousness and complete liberation. Capriles calls this truth absolute sanity. This perspective does not speak well for the sanity of the Guru and the Pandit when they discuss helping God evolve.
As can be seen, the higher nontheistic nondual contemplative traditions completely conflict with Darwinian theories of consciousness evolution, as well as Western theories of hierarchical developmental stages. Integral Theory has ended up unknowingly preventing the Bodhisattva worldview of genuine evolutionary enlightenment from emerging. Recognizing the actual theory of a tradition as it is taught is a necessary prerequisite for accurate understanding and realization. Purposely changing the original systems and pretending that they say what you, and only you believe, like the Guru and the Pandit have done repeatedly, prevents their followers from understanding and achieving their true spiritual potential. This is a complete violation of any and all spiritual principles of personal integrity, and the basis of the scandals and experience of betrayal that so many followers describe when the initial magic wears off and reality becomes apparent.
Terence McKenna May Have Been Right
Terence McKenna was one of the most beloved psychedelic/shamanic philosophers of the late 20th century, who helped many individuals define and articulate their own personal quest for higher knowledge, and held a personal viewpoint that rejected conventional cultural boundaries and assumptions created by language and Western beliefs. One of the purposes of this article is to suggest to the readers that the transcendental object at the end of time that he predicted, and described as the ultimate artifact, may be the rediscovery of the Philosopher's Stone. I would argue that the rediscovery of the Philosopher's Stone is a scientific explanation of the Dharmakaya/embryo of enlightenment, which is the basis of Buddhist and Taoist theories of spiritual awakening. This super subtle body, which Integral Theory has overlooked completely, exists in a dormant form within every human beings body, and activates the pineal gland or third eye, when permanent super consciousness is achieved by the Coniunctio, the union of subtle and super subtle bodies within the physical body. Both Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions describe the Coniunctio as the union of mother and child lights, which results in complete enlightenment.
Tantric Buddhism describes the union of the three bodies, physical, subtle, and super subtle as the Svabavikakaya or Trikaya. Neither the Guru nor the Pandit has ever described the embryo of enlightenment as the goal of meditation and spiritual practice, which is well known among genuine adepts, which raises serious questions about their understanding of enlightenment and genuine spiritual awakening. Western Buddhism, yoga, and particularly Advaita Vedanta, also suffer from this same problem, which prevents the potential of the complete evolution of consciousness from being understood and realized by both teachers and students.
What is uncanny about Terence's prediction is that he had no background in Eastern philosophy, and yet succeeded in describing a future scientific explanation of enlightenment extremely accurately, and far beyond the current New Age limitations of Integral Theory. As he said many times unless a word exists that is commonly used to describe an object, the object cannot exist. The ultimate artifact that he predicted is theoretically a scientific explanation of a complete understanding of spiritual awakening in the 21st century, which is based on the rediscovery of the super subtle body, the spiritual embryo or Philosopher's Stone. The concept of model dependent realism can be used to understand the impossibility of a mechanistic model of neuroscience, explaining a vitalist concept of enlightenment, which is factual.
If the current controlling model of science and religion in the West cannot accurately explain or describe the ultimate artifact, the Philosopher's Stone, it is assumed to be a myth. Western scholars, and scientists, that are well known experts on subjects like shamanism, Buddhism and Taoism, cannot risk academic credibility by challenging dominant scientific models. The end result is that there is no word for the Philosopher's Stone in English except for Hermetic Androgyne or Rebis. You will notice that these words at best summon the mental image of an alchemical engraving from 600 years ago. The key scientific term of that time, which is known as the embryo of enlightenment in Buddhism and Taoism, is the homunculus. Wilber has to use the term Eros, which is really not much better than Odic Force, or Elan Vital, to try to intertwine God or Spirit with the Integral Theory evolutionary hypothesis. The reality is that chi/prana is the basis of genuine complete enlightenment or spiritual awakening, and science cannot acknowledge this without going back to vitalism, and the Filius Philosophorum, the embryo of enlightenment.
The kundalini model of awakening is fundamentally accurate in describing a dormant point of enlightened energy within the human reproductive system, although the complete version, the Coniunctio, the union of subtle and super subtle bodies, is still shrouded in mystery. The enlightened spark of divine origin within the body was known as the Prima Materia or first matter in early science, the actual starting point of the human embryo. Kundalini terminology would refer to the human point of origin as the first chakra of the body. It should be noted that Western medicine and physiology does not have a word for the kundalini, because it is a vitalist concept that has been rejected by the mechanistic modern worldview, even though the caduceus and Rod of Asclepius are still used as symbols of Western medicine.
Chinese medicine and spiritual alchemy is based on the concept of the embryo of enlightenment, which is why the goal of Zen is to see your Original Face. The genuine Original Face is the Dharmakaya/spiritual embryo, which has been completely misunderstood by Integral Theory and almost all Buddhist scholars. Very few Western Buddhists seem to be aware that Zen has been banned in Tibet since the famous 7th century debate because of its emphasis on sudden enlightenment. Similarly, Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism generally do not accept the sexual yoga practices of Tibetan Buddhism, which are depicted as the yab/yum Coniunctio throughout Himalayan art. Actually, Buddhism was so successful in China because Confucianism and Taoism were already based on the embryo of enlightenment, which was a well-known phenomenon before the introduction of Buddhism, in direct contrast with Tibet, which was at a much less developed stage of civilization when Buddhism arrived. There is an ongoing conflict within Buddhism, in which the embryo of enlightenment is rejected as the Hindu Atman historically by practitioners that have not reached the completion stage of meditation and enlightenment, and actually seen it dissolve into emptiness for themselves. Tibetan Buddhism in particular often confuses clear light experiences with the Dharmakaya, because the true experience of golden nonduality, as the famous yogi Shabkar described it, is extremely rare.
Since the Tang dynasty, embryonic enlightenment has been the emphasis of Tathagatagharba based Buddhism in China. Tathagatagharba is correctly translated as embryo/homunculus of Buddhahood, the Buddha nature that is within all human beings as the starting point of the body, the Prima Materia. Terence McKenna may have been absolutely correct in predicting the paradigm shift that will gradually occur globally, as this Internet-spread understanding of ultimate transhuman potential, what could be called the Tantric Philosopher's Stone, eventually changes the Darwinian model of the evolution of consciousness. Notice however that this stands in direct contrast to the Integral emphasis on evolutionary progression, and seems to be much more consistent with the myth of the eternal return, which doesn't appear to be a myth at all. The actual meditation process that results in complete spiritual awakening is a circular return to a fully enlightened state of origin, prior to the fall of man, the loss of illuminated consciousness.
Theoretically, the transcendental object at the end of time, the ultimate artifact is the enlightened point of origin within the bodies of all human beings the Buddha nature. This dormant pre-birth subtle body, your Original Face, may very well be the ultimate artifact that Terence predicted. Mahayana and Tantric Buddhism describes the completion stage of meditation, as the reality body of absolute truth the Dharmakaya that results in Buddhahood, the union of the three bodies, physical, subtle, and super subtle. According to Dzogchen and Mahamudra traditions, genuine nonduality means that your perception has never been separate from this reality, which is your true nature.
As long as we don't destroy ourselves first, this attractor at the end of time, the origin point of ourselves, may eventually create a global Bodhisattva civilization based on higher consciousness, altruism, and enlightenment when it is understood by science. This entire process is very much like the Hermetic Gnostic symbol of the serpent swallowing its tail the oroborus, which is the classical illustration for the Coniunctio, the union of subtle and super subtle bodies within the human being that results in permanent inner illumination. Science, religion, and culture have unknowingly returned to their own point of origin in the beginning of the 21st century from a hypothetical perspective.
The problem with discussing Tantric enlightenment scientifically is twofold lock-in and secrecy. The Darwinian paradigm has evolved into a mechanistic model, which says that subtle bodies don't exist because vitalism has been rejected. The awakening of the kundalini/Original Face is based on uniting the lowest chakra with the highest, and tai chi, qi gong, yoga and meditation are based on chi/prana refinement and cultivation. Naturally, this poses a significant problem for the alleged convergence of Buddhism and neuroscience. The hardcore scientific materialist is so locked into the reductionist paradigm of brain, consciousness and machine equivalency, that non-Western models of super consciousness/enlightenment or permanent spiritual liberation cannot even be considered. Although inner alchemy or Tantric enlightenment is the seed, flower and fruit, of Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Taoist, and Gnostic Hermetic traditions, subtle body union that awakens the third eye cannot be measured. This means that neuroscientists have to assume that the Trikaya, the union of the three bodies, is superstition. The traditions themselves have always prized secrecy and metaphor, and concealed the firing process, which unites the yin lunar soul or anima, with the yang solar spirit, or spiritus, within the corpus or physical body. The yang subtle body is the Original Face, the embryo of enlightenment that results in inner illumination or Gnosis when the end result of the firing process, the Coniunctio, the union of yin and yang subtle bodies is completed. Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions call the Coniunctio the union of mother and child lights; Taoism describes it as embracing singularity, the marriage of dragon and tiger. Tantric Buddhahood, the Trikaya, or Svabavikakaya describes ultimate consciousness evolution as the union of Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya and Dharmakaya bodies. The super subtle body is the Dharmakaya/Original Face, the embryo of enlightenment or Hermetic Androgyne. This could very well be the ultimate artifact, which Terence McKenna predicted, which is discovered at the end of time as the origin of consciousness by science. For a relatively clear explanation of the mechanism of inner alchemy, the works of Charles Luk, Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming, Eva Wong and Thomas Cleary are recommended. There is a difference between the super subtle body, which is realized as the Original Face by celibate practitioners, and the Tantric Mahasiddhas, which have fused the male and female super subtle bodies into the Hermetic Androgyne.
The knowledge of sexual yoga resulting in permanent inner illumination appears to be the secret of inner alchemy and spiritual awakening in many ancient civilizations. The future of genuine complete spiritual awakening and enlightenment, may very well be the discovery that the myth of the eternal return is not a myth, and is actually an accurate description of the enlightened origin of human consciousness. The end result is the opening of the third eye of inner illumination; the fully activated pineal gland that renders the individual super conscious after the Coniunctio is achieved. A scientific understanding of the union of the three bodies, physical, subtle and super subtle may be the future enlightened destiny of the human race.